Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quick, “on-the-go”, picks of the week from RB: Antifungal comes to the rescue and Protein tricks in cell regulatory networks



Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.

Note that I'm only taking into consideration the molbio-related blog posts aggregated under "Biology".

Despite all of this, too many experiments, TA assignments, undergrad mentoring and some other work-related stuff, have narrowed my time for writing this week’s post. In fact, I’m at the lab right now! (it’s 11.20 pm… hey, is that gel still running?).

I did read them all, though. My "limited time" only makes reference to the actual writing of the post.

Anyway, as you know, I like to give a nice intro to the selected posts (for example, see here), but this week I’ll just direct you to them. I promise to get back to my regular (more extended) format next week.

This week, two blog posts made the cut:

1) Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the aggregation of a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Interestingly, it has been reported that Amphotericin B, a common antifungal drug, has anti-prion activity, although its use has been limited due to its high toxicity.

Brian Appleby at CJD Bloggers discusses a somewhat recent article assessing anti-prion properties and toxicity of new amphotericin B analogues, in which the exocyclic carboxyl groups normally found in amphotericin B, have been replaced by methyl groups.

"This study is significant in that it demonstrates anti-prion activity of less toxic amphotericin analogues that may be further studied in regards to possible anti-prion disease treatments."
2) Nir London at Macromolecular Modeling Blog, summarizes the most important points of a recent review discussing “some of the many strategies that proteins in regulatory networks use to achieve the dynamic plasticity necessary to rapidly respond to diverse cellular needs”, integrating aspects of specificity, modularity, the role of post-translational modifications (particularly phosphorylation) and more!

That's it for this week. Stay tuned for more MolBio Research Highlights!

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ResearchBlogging.orgSome of the articles discussed in this week's selected posts:

SOLER, L. (2008). Effects of new amphotericin analogues on the scrapie isoform of the prion protein Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1780 (10), 1162-1167 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2008.07.005

Stein, A., Pache, R., Bernadó, P., Pons, M., & Aloy, P. (2009). Dynamic interactions of proteins in complex networks: a more structured view FEBS Journal, 276 (19), 5390-5405 DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07251.x


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